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Abandoned service stations in Cornwall remain a problem in the city, as a recent report accepted by the Planning Advisory and Hearing Committee (PAC) on Monday evening explains that the issues are “out of the purview” of three provincial stakeholders and require the involvement of other departments or levels of government. .

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Com. Syd Gardiner told the Standard-Freeholder that these abandoned sites could cause fires, and he is disappointed with the outcome that no one is stepping in to deal with the situation.

Abandoned fuel sites were defined in a presentation by Gardiner as sites where operations have ceased, but the equipment itself has not been properly decommissioned. There are about 160 currently abandoned refueling sites in Ontario, usually former gas stations, according to a report prepared by stakeholders in the situation. Stakeholders are provincial authorities, the Department of Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP), the Department of Government and Consumer Services (MGCS) and the Technical Standards and Safety Authority (TSSA). ).

The report says that if an inactive site is not decommissioned after two years, a responsible party is unlikely to decommission the site.

“We cannot redevelop these sites because no one will touch them. Insurance is too expensive. Gardiner said. “It’s too expensive for the little guy.”

He said the cost of dismantling old service stations is too high.

The report contained information merged from interviews with the respective stakeholders. The question of why the sites were abandoned without proper decommissioning resulted in the consensus that those leaving the sites did not have the financial means to carry out the required decommissioning, which would include the removal of storage and distribution equipment fuel.

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Gardiner named larger companies such as Shell or Esso, saying they should take responsibility for abandoned sites.

“They left and left us with the bag,” he concluded.

According to the report, the sites most likely to be abandoned are “mom and pop shops”, owned and operated by people who don’t own any other site. These low-volume fuel companies represent approximately 10-15% of retail gasoline in Ontario.

Due to this sole proprietorship nature, the cost of decommissioning cannot be subsidized with revenue from another service station.

The report also states that in many cases the reasoning behind not tearing down a gas station is that the cost of cleaning up the site is greater than the value of the property itself.

A contributing factor to the high cost of cleaning is contamination management, particularly if the site uses older equipment that is more susceptible to leaks. According to the report, “clean-up costs in Canada are significantly higher than in the United States, particularly spill fees,” which accounts for a large portion of the overall cost.

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